Larry Ackman, who led finance brokerage Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group for two decades, doing deals for the likes of Sol Goldman and Seymour Durst, died this week. He was in his 80s.
Ackman, the son of founding partner Herman Ackman, joined the real estate firm in the 1960s. He became president of the company in 1968 and CEO in 1977.
After Simon Ziff became president of the firm in 1995 and took over day-to-day operations, Ackman assumed the role of chairman. He later moved on to work on real estate deals with his son, hedge-fund mogul Bill Ackman, at Bill’s firm Pershing Square Capital.
“He lived his deals and knew them better than his clients often did,” Ziff told The Real Deal Thursday, referring to his mentor as the “mother of all brokers.”
”He was an animal and never failed,” Ziff added.
In a 2015 talk, Ackman credited Sol Goldman for giving him his first big break. Ackman arranged a loan with the Greenwich Savings Bank for the mega-landlord’s property at 32nd Street and Park Avenue South, where one of the tenants was a Meyer’s parking garage.
“That little deal with Sol Goldman resulted in my selling the land for Manhattan Plaza which was in the early stages of my real estate career,” Ackman recalled.
Ackman was on the board of directors at the Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopedic Institute for more than two decades and the Realty Foundation of New York.
”He was an animal and never failed.”
At Pershing Square, Ackman worked on deals such as the acquisition of 787 Eleventh Avenue, a 460,000-square-foot office building purchased in partnership with Georgetown Company for $250 million in 2015. Last year, the partners started looking to sell the building, hoping to get approximately $630 million .